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Int J Cancer. 1997 Nov 27;73(5):678-83.

Phenotypic analysis of ovarian carcinoma: polypeptide expression in benign, borderline and malignant tumors.

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Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Studies of multiple markers in tumors are required for adequate biological characterization. We have characterized the expression of multiple proteins in human ovarian tumors using the technique of 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE/PDQUEST). Tumor cells were prepared from the tissue of 22 ovarian tumors. Large variations were observed between tumors in the expression of various polypeptides, indicating heterogeneity in gene expression. An increase in the spot density of 2 cell-cycle-related proteins, PCNA and OP18/stathmin, was observed in carcinomas. Borderline tumors expressed low levels of these proteins. Significant increases in the levels of nm23, GST-pi, elongation factor 2 and triose phosphate isomerase were recorded in ovarian carcinomas. Furthermore, decreases in the levels of tropomyosin-2 and lamin C were observed in malignant as compared with benign tumors. The pattern of expression of 9 protein markers was examined in individual tumors. All malignant tumors showed simultaneous alterations in the expression of 5 or more of these proteins, whereas no benign tumor showed alterations in the expression of more than 3 polypeptides. Borderline tumors showed alterations in 0 to 6 markers. We conclude that the simultaneous analysis of multiple polypeptides, which can be achieved by 2-DE, is useful for characterization of gene expression and diagnostic studies in ovarian tumors.

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